Thursday, March 6, 2014
I had never worked with that type of ribbon before and really enjoyed it.
A few people commented that they had not seen shibori ribbon before and were interested in trying it out.
After an email conversation with Christine Altmiller, I decided to host a shibori ribbon challenge.
If you haven't played with shibori ribbon, you are in for a treat. Shibori is a silk ribbon with accordion like folds running down the length of the ribbon. You can stretch it (width wise) or scrunch it or both. I've seen it used mostly for bead embroidery, but I think it could be used in many other ways.
I have 5 pieces of shibori ribbon up for grabs. Each piece is 9" in length -- perfect for a bracelet or for a couple of pendants.
* Leave a comment below if you would like to play -- be sure I have a way to contact you
* You do not need to have a blog. I would be happy to show your work on my blog
* You do not have to be a bead weaver or learn to embroider. I would love to see different ideas on how to use the ribbon.
* You have to use the ribbon in some way, but you don't have to make a piece of jewelry if you don't want to.
* I will pick winners randomly from the comments the morning of Monday, March 10 and (hopefully) send the ribbons out the next day.
* If you are not chosen, but have shibori ribbon, you are welcome to play along.
* The reveal will be Monday, April 14.
* Above all, have fun and try something new!
If you've never worked with shibori ribbon and are wondering exactly how to use it, I found this link helpful when I started working on my pendant.
I have also started a pinterest board to spark our imaginations.
I hope you can join me!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I made this pendant using a bead soup from Fusion Beads that featured superduo beads, crystal bicones, pearls and seed beads.
Allison liked the pendant and asked me to write up instructions.
I am please to say that my pendant was published in issue 6 of Bead Me Magazine.
It's even inset on the cover. :)
I was bowled over to see the page featuring my pendants. They look so yummy!
Right now, issue 6 is free from Apples's app store. There are several great projects in it. Definitely check it out.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Miss Erin gleans inspiration from many different places: her hometown, music, hunks of rust, literature, and, of course, color.
Many times, she invites her readers to join her on an inspiration blog hop challenge. Some of my favorites creations have stemmed from Erin's challenges.
For this year's challenge of music, Erin asked us to pick a seminal year in our lives or a year that impacted our lives in some way, then pick a song from that year to inspire us.
This year marks my grandparents' 70th anniversary. They were married in February of 1944. I decided to pick a song from 1944 in honor of them.
"My Heart Tells Me," sung by Glen Gray, was top of the charts in February, 1944, but that song didn't seem to capture 70 years of marriage. I opted instead for "Swinging on a Star," sung by Bing Crosby. It was top of the charts in August and September, 1944.
I liked the playfulness of the lyrics:
The part that really struck me was "be better off than you are." The right person makes you be better than you are. My grandparents spent a lifetime making each other -- and all of us -- better every day.
This is one of my favorite photos of my grandparents, taken by Mae-Belle Photography.
To celebrate their 70th, my mom and her brothers and sisters threw a party. I may have mentioned before, but my mom has 12 siblings. There are 32 grandchildren and over 30 great grandchildren.
Not everyone was there, but it was quite a party.
But, back to my song.
I wanted to capture the playfulness of the song and, at one point, wanted to bead a swing to hang from a star. Well, you can probably guess how that turned out.
Speaking of Genea, she creates jewelry with a playful style. How she combines colors, textures and her beautiful beads in such a fabulous way is beyond me, but I decided to give it a shot.
I started with a celini spiral.
I added a few copper swirls and mixed some of Genea's wingdings with clay beads from Staci Louise and a glass bead from Sue Beads.
I am pretty enamored with how it came out.
While I was fiddling with the necklace, looking at this focal or that bead, I also made earrings.
I paired small lengths of chain maille with these cute charms from Miss Erin herself.
Copper didn't work so well with Erin's charms, so I used a bit of patina and gilder's paste to give the rings a (hopefully) celestial look.
As a side note, I finally got the hang of the violet patina from Miss Fickle Media. The color is just swoon worthy, though too purple for my earrings. Hence the gilder's paste.
I love the movement of these earrings.
You can find more of Erin's creations here.
Erin, thank you for another wonderful challenge. I love that these challenges push me out of my comfort zone.
Please take some time to visit Erin's blog to see what songs the other participants chose what how those songs inspired them.
Or, you can click the links below.
Friday, February 28, 2014
A few months ago, Therese found these awesome clay faces at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts.
They were made by Susan Clayton and are just amazing to see.
Therese bought a few extra and asked six of us to join them for this month's She Made/She Made. I am honored to be in that group.
When I received the face, I couldn't stop looking at it. There is so much character in that little face.
I immediately envisioned a wise woman or elder and wanted to create something that did justice to Susan's beautiful work.
It was the perfect time to try working with shibori ribbon. I love the texture created by the folds of the ribbon. With a bit of practice, I was able to shape the ribbon around the face.
A bit of embroidery and I was done.
Of course, after I cut the oval shape out, I noticed the face was a bit off center. I guess she's looking at something. :)
I wanted to keep the rest of the necklace simple, so I layered strands of chain and ribbon.
Please take some time to see what the other ladies did with their faces. You won't be disappointed.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Recently, I met my friend Sharyl, from Sharyl's Jewelry for lunch and she was kind enough to invite me to her home to see her work space.
Sharyl is a multi media artist/designer who creates gorgeous jewelry and beautiful metal components. Lately, Sharyl was bitten by the polymer clay bug and she has been creating fabulous clay components.
While I was visiting Sharyl, I picked up a few things and she gifted me a pendant.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, which is unusual for me.
I made a cellini spiral and started a few lengths of chain maille and started them in an ammonia patina.
Unfortunately, the blue color from the ammonia wasn't quite what I wanted. It's gorgeous though, and I have other ideas for it.
I went back to the drawing board and dug out ribbons, chain, leather, and anything else I could find.
After several backs and forths, I settled on leather.
Sharyl does an amazing job with color on all her components and I love how the color and texture play off of each other and the leather.
You can find a similar pendant (with a Kansas wheat coloring) here. (But only if you hurry, this one is on my wish list.) :)
While I was contemplating how to finish the necklace, I started browsing though my (not so small) collection of Sharyl's components.
I found that her metal components worked well with her clay pieces and made a pair of earrings.
The large rings are from Miss Fickle Media and were the perfect size.
I loved how these looked and went to town!
Sharyl mentioned that the products she uses on the metal components are different than the ones she uses to color the clay. I would not have imagined that, as the colors compliment each other so well.
When I ran out of metal links, I tried something else.
I love how these look like little flowers. I couldn't decide whether I should hang little drops from the bottom or not, so for now, they are plain. I might go back and add something later.
You can find Sharyl's creations in her artfire store.
Check out the polymer clay section of her store for more clay components.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
The first was my new year's necklace. I couldn't be more thrilled with how it turned out, but it went through more than one reconstruction.
I've also been working on a something for a special February edition of She Made/She Made, hosted by Therese Frank and Christine Altmiller.
I know, you can't stand the wait, can you? I'll give you a sneak peek.
Check back on February 28 for the reveal.
Finally, I've been working with components made by Sharyl from Sharyl's Jewelry. Another sneak peek? Okay, since you asked.
I plan to share my creations using Sharyl's components next week, so stay tuned.
In the mean time, I've managed to complete a few bracelets.
From left to right, they are:
Sleek Cuff - I love how this turned out. It's a quick pattern (it took me one afternoon to complete) and looks fabulous.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Blue Buddha marked this as an expert pattern and I could see why. You need to know European 4 in 1 and half Persian 3 in 1 *very* well and you need to know how to join the edges. A few of the ring placements are very tight as well.
Since I knew it was a hard project going in, I went slowly and checked the pattern every 4.5 seconds to make sure I was doing everything correctly.
The first part, European 4 in 1, was straight forward, as was the Persian edging. The joining of the edges, though, was another story.
After more attempts than I care to admit, I started from scratch and found that it was easier for me to join the base before adding the edging. After that it was smooth sailing until the very last step.
The front of the pendant looked great, but I couldn't get those pesky rings to work on the back.
This is the front:
This is the back:
Do you see how the violet rings are sitting on top of the copper rings? That isn't correct.
I tried several times, but resigned myself to the fact that the back rings would sit on top. It didn't really look that bad, right?
I posted my pendant to Blue Buddha's facebook page. Someone there was kind enough to draw my ring path on my photo and put it side by side with a photo showing the correct ring path. Then it clicked.
I have no idea what I was doing wrong or what I started doing right (they still look the same to me), but it worked!
I quickly (well, I gathered the materials quickly) made another pendant.
I noticed that aluminum rings in the middle were not as tight as the copper rings I had used in the first pendant. I tried another with brass rings in the middle.
Brass rings were also looser than copper ones. I liked the way these two looked, so I took the first pendant apart and re-worked it with aluminum rings in the center.
I might try another with copper in the center, just to see if I did something different/wrong on my first try. Different metals, though, sometimes yield different results, so it might just be that copper rings are tighter than other metals.
I noticed that the last pendant worked up much (much) more quickly than the first and second ones. I'm excited about that because I want a small army of these things.
I think they will look great as pendants and I want to build necklaces around them.
These are not for the faint of heart, though. Each pendant measures about 2 inches in diameter -- pretty substantial. Luckily, aluminum rings are very light and the pendants are not that heavy.